Persian New Year
Spring, rebirth & renewal
Nowrouz is close, I can feel that spring is waiting at the door. In Iran, the new year begins with the advent of spring. It's such a great feeling to start the new year with spring, where everything is new. Nowrouz has been celebrated thousands of years ago.
At this time of the year, we clean our homes & eat all the green food as they represent life and rebirth such as Kookoo Sabzi and Sabzi polo.
We also make a special table “Haft-seen”, or a collection of items that symbolize a different hope for the New Year and all of them start with “S” in Farsi.
Nowruz has been celebrated in Iran for more than 3,000 years. Its roots are as a feast day in Zoroastrianism, a religion practiced in ancient Persia that viewed the arrival of spring as a victory over darkness.
Although the Persian Calendar is very precise about the very moment of turn of the new year, Noruz itself is by definition the very first calendar day of the year, regardless of when the natural turn of the year happens. For instance, in some years, the actual natural moment of turn of the year could happen before midnight of the first calendar day, but the calendar still starts at 00:00 hours for 24 hours, and those 24 hours constitute the Noruz. Iranians typically observe the exact moment of the turn of the year.
During the Nowrouz holidays, people are expected to pay house visits to one another (mostly limited to families, friends, and neighbors) in the form of short house visits and the other side will also pay you a visit during the holidays before the 13th day of the spring. Typically, on the first day of Nowrouz, family members gather around the table, with the Haft Seen on the table or set next to it, and await the exact moment of the arrival of the spring. At that time gifts are exchanged. Later in the day, on the very first day, the first house visits are paid to the most senior family members.
"Haft Seen" means “The Seven S” in Persian a “Haft Seen” is a symbolic spread.
In event of the Persian New Year, pretty much every Iranian family sets up one Haft Seen table at home. The spread typically features seven elements beginning with the letter “س” as well as other elements that do not necessarily begin with the same letter. Each element has a unique symbolic significance which we briefly explain below:
1. Serkeh (Vinegar) symbolizes patience and immortality.
2. Sumac is a symbol of love and compassion.
3. Seeb (Apple) is said to represent health and fertility.
4. Senjed (Silverberry) is seen as a simulator of love and affection.
5. Sabzeh (Sprouts) symbolizes rebirth. The greens might have sprouted from wheat, lentils, barley, or mung beans (and more recently citrus seeds).
6. Sir (Garlic) was traditionally thought to avert evil; given the pungent smell it diffuses, we couldn’t entirely reject that theory. It is a symbol of protection in the face of affliction.
7. Samanu is a nutritious pudding that comes in only one color: brown. To make Samanu, wheat sprouts are transformed into a sweet and creamy delight. The seventh “Seen” represents affluence.
Side elements used to adorn the setting include mirrors, candles, colored eggs, hyacinths, coins, and clocks. But the most controversial members of the spread are gold-fish! There is vehement disagreement on whether or not gold-fish in a bowl actually belong on a “Haft Seen.” The most fervid opponents are environmentalists and animal rights activists. Though some have replaced goldfish with ceramic replicas over the past few years, many continue to buy the real deal every Nowrouz.
we eat all the green food as they represent life and rebirth such as Kookoo Sabzi and Sabzi polo.We also make a special table “Haft-seen”, or a collection of items that symbolize a different hope for the New Year and all of them start with “S” in Farsi. Like for example, we grow wheat sprouts (Sabzeh” and we put it on our Haft- Seen table for the rebirth of the earth, or we add apple “Sib” to this table that represents health for the New Year.